UNICEF: Getting Children Climate Ready

What does climate change mean to you? In the UK it often feels like a series of scientific debates and middle class people wondering if we’ll have a thriving wine industry in 30 years.

For many children in the developing world, though, it means destruction, death, poverty and no chance to go to school. Climate change is happening now and it is the most vulnerable children in countries not responsible for messing with our climate that are paying the price.

UNICEF – Climate kid shows you how children will have to adapt if we do nothing.

The World’s governments know all about the challenge of climate change. At the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 developed countries promised to raise an extra $100 billion a year by 2020 for developing countries for climate change. This money is to be evenly split between trying to prevent further rises in global temperatures and helping to adapt Read more…

Amex Launches Facebook “Friends of Japan,” Supporting Earthquake Victims

The earthquake in Japan occurred months ago, but there are still many areas of the country that need support. Last month, American Express set out to reignite attention and support for the relief efforts by launching “Friends of Japan,” its first-ever global social media program on Facebook.

Friends of Japan is a social, word-of-mouth campaign that builds upon previous contributions and fundraising activities by Amex since the disaster struck.

The campaign encourages people from around the world to share messages of hope through the Amex Facebook page (facebook.com/americanexpressjapan). Visitors from around the world will receive a customized experience based on their location, as the “Friends of Japan” area on the page will be translated into Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.

Visitors can select one of four messages or create their own messages of hope for Japan, in the form of a virtual postcard. American Express will donate $1 for every Read more…

Sparked.com: Online Volunteering for Busy People (like you)

Oh the irony.

I have been feeling a little guilty that I just haven’t had time to work on my next TheSociallyConsciousBlog article. Things have gotten so busy lately. I was looking around our TSCB website bank, searching for inspiration and riddled with guilt when I decided to randomly click on a link. Low and behold I should land on Sparked.com – the “easy, social, online volunteering for busy people.”

I think it’s a sign.

Of course I’m not the only one who is busy. 73% of Americans (and about the same for Canadians) don’t volunteer and cite lack of time as the major reason. Sparked makes it easy for skilled professionals to help nonprofits get valuable work done, in a time frame that fits in with the demands of a full-time job. Sparked is labeled as the world’s first micro-volunteering network.

What is micro-volunteering you ask?

Well one of Sparked’s co-founders, Ben Rigby Read more…

Khan Academy: The Future of Education

Education for most people around the world is not free.

It actually costs money – and a lot of it.

I’m not going to delve into the numbers too much (as they vary according to country and grade level), however picture this for a moment…

The cost of raising a child alone (form birth to age 17) is approximately $182,857.

17% of that is child education = $31,085.69. If education costs money, it becomes an expense – and essentially schools become a business, and a business’ responsibility is to cater to the bottom line – profit.

Education = Expense
Schools = Business
Education = Profit

In today’s consolidating economy, people are getting paid less to do more, yet the cost of education continues to rise at an average rate of 6% annually.

If a parent’s income suffers in any way, they’re forced to make a very tough decision – one that may force them to pull their child out Read more…

The first step: Awareness (Journalists for Human Rights)

All around the world, journalists provide the population with accurate knowledge and information about current events.  It is important that the reporting is unbiased and the story is told from all sides of the conflict or situation; therefore, allowing the audience to form their own conclusions and opinion.

This is good journalism.

However, not all countries have the same ability or understanding of what journalism should entail.  Many nations’ media platforms are controlled by their government.  Consequently, only government approved material is broadcasted.  This seriously hinders the possibility of population to be able to shape their own views.

Paul Kagame has been the president of Rwanda since 2000.  Some sources say that Rwanda has been the largest success story within Africa under his guidance.  However, all media sources in Rwanda are held to strict guidelines.  The media limitations were put in affect following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The objective of the guidelines is Read more…

Better Choices for a Better World: Me to We by Free the Children

A South Asian boy name Iqbal was living a life of slavery by the age of four.  Then he spoke out internationally about children’s rights.

A single article in the Toronto Star about Iqbal grabbed the attention of 12-year old Craig Kielbuger. He learned that even a child’s single voice can have an incredible strength behind it.

On that day in 1995, Free the Children was born.

Children’s Networking

Today, Free the Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children through education.  It encompasses one million adolescent across 45 countries.

But this is just the beginning.

Craig and his brother, Marc, have traveled the world countless times.  Each trip has given them more memories, ideas and inspirations.  On a certain trip to Ecuador, citizens came to their aid after walking many hours and knowing they would not receive anything in return.  This experience both puzzled and amazed the Kielburger brothers.

“A movement of people who Read more…

ONE: We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice

In a world where nearly everything costs something, it’s nice to take comfort in the fact that we all have a valuable resource to offer that doesn’t come with a price tag – our voices.

That’s the objective of ONE, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy organization that works to increase public awareness of poverty and places pressure on political leaders to work towards poverty alleviation.

They’re not soliciting funds, they’re soliciting support.

In the beginning

ONE is an organization that has been in the making since 2002.

The concept itself began when Bono [front man for world renowned band U2], along with Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver, Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew got together and decided to start up advocacy organization DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa).

Shortly after, ONE was born as a means of creating a broader campaign to mobilize public support to fight against poverty and raise global health awareness. By 2008, it was concluded Read more…

Playing For Change Foundation: Creating Positive Change, Building Future Stars

29,208,434 people stand by me.

The first time I created music was when I picked up my mom’s wooden cooking spoons and created an impromptu drum set with her pots and pans. 20 years later, I’m still using wooden sticks to make music [albeit better sounding music I hope] with my rock band The Coffee Dates. I used to wonder how many people would hear my music someday.

What I never realized was how many people wanted to play music in the first place.

Road Tripping

4 years ago, Mark Johnson, an American Grammy-award winning producer and sound engineer, and his crew walked down the street of Santa Monica, California when they heard a road side musician that would transform a small group of like-minded individuals into a globalized movement for peace and education, channeled through the power of one universal language: Music.

They quickly recorded the street version and blended it with versions Read more…